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Funnel Raises $36M Series B to Eliminate W-2s and Pay Stubs from the Rental Process

Funnel Leasing, the only renter-centric leasing platform, today announced the completion of a $36.5-million Series B raise that will transform the residential leasing process for multifamily operators. The preemptive round was led by RET Ventures, a leading PropTech-focused VC firm and existing Funnel investor. They were joined by Camden Property Trust and Morgan Properties, two of the country’s largest owners of multifamily properties, as well as Wilshire Lane Capital, Trinity Ventures and Camber Creek. Additional strategic investment was provided by RET Ventures Limited Partners MAA, Essex and Cortland. The financing will expand Funnel’s reach in the enterprise and mid-markets of leading property owners and management companies who recognize the value of centralized leasing and renter-centric models for success.

The marketing, communications and leasing platform streamlines every stage of the rental lifecycle in line with today’s consumer expectations, creating efficiencies for property teams and improving the process through automations and added conveniences for renters. The software differentiates itself from legacy vendors through its “renter-centric” approach that places a renter — not a property — at the center of every interaction. In addition to better serving renters, this approach also establishes greater efficiencies for leasing teams, who leverage Funnel’s technology to improve and workstream operations across their portfolio by centralizing operations, optimizing marketing budgets and operational costs by staffing intelligently.

Originally founded as an apartment marketing platform in 2010, Funnel expanded its mandate significantly in 2018 and has established itself as the leading full-stack platform for the entire apartment rental process. Since then, the company has experienced meteoric growth; it is now used by 17 of the NMHC Top 50, offering a range of leasing and communications tools to enable more efficient leasing through centralization and automation. The financing will support the development of new tools to complete the end-to-end renter journey, adding renter onboarding and resident portal functionalities.

Funnel Leasing’s current products include:

●  Engage, a robust lead management solution and CRM with automations for mundane tasks and omni-channel communications to manage the entire renter journey.

●  Amplify, a natural language virtual leasing agent that works across SMS, email and chat.

●  Convert, a suite of online leasing tools, including instant income verification through the industry’s only FinTech integration.

●  Signal, a syndication tool for major third-party ILS’ with unique integrations to ensure listings are correct and richer data is captured through inquiries.

●  Coming soon: a suite of products focused on renter onboarding, resident portal and retention.

“RET’s Limited Partners are some of the largest and most innovative operators in multifamily real estate. They have seen Funnel’s ability to transform the entire leasing process through their initial investment years ago and they have been an invaluable partner to us ever since,” shared Tyler Christiansen, CEO of Funnel. “We are honored to now be the full-portfolio CRM for 5 of the 20 largest apartment owners in America. This financing gives us the ability to allow other forward-thinking companies to move leasing from property level to the portfolio level.”

“By providing a simple, seamless and personalized renter journey, we help leading multifamily companies lease faster and more efficiently,” said Christiansen. “For owners and operators on legacy Property Management Systems (PMS) feeling stuck between a bunch of disconnected point solutions, or giving up their trusted accounting systems, we have great news and a better approach: we integrate deeply with the biggest PMS players and provide a modern, flexible and complete leasing platform to help you reduce costs, and compete more effectively for today and tomorrow’s renters.”

The $36-million Series B financing caps off a banner year for Funnel Leasing, including notable milestones:

●  115% YOY revenue growth

●  Doubled employee headcount from 40 to 80

●  5 of the NMHC Top 20 Owners now use Funnel’s property management CRM “Engage”

●  Launched Virtual Leasing Agent “Amplify” with Camden Property Trust

●  Launched H.O.M.E., the industry’s first non-profit 501(c)(3), dedicated to provide disadvantaged renters with access to safe and healthy housing

Funnel’s best is yet to come alongside leading PropTech VC firm, RET Ventures. RET Ventures is the first industry-backed early stage venture fund focused on helping build cutting-edge “rent tech” — technology for multifamily and single-family rental real estate. RET’s base of limited partners includes some of the largest REITs and private real estate owner-operators and managers, who control some 2.4 million rental units. This Series B round represents one of the VC firm’s largest investments to date, underscoring the mission-critical nature of Funnel’s technology to the multifamily industry.

“Our conversations with strategic investors have increasingly shown the need for a more streamlined leasing process that puts the prospective resident in control of the process and allows for self-touring, omni-channel communications and online leasing so that an apartment can be leased at any hour of the day at the prospective renter’s convenience. The pandemic, resulting social distancing requirements and limited staffing accelerated this trend,” said John Helm, Partner at RET Ventures. “In this environment, Funnel has become one of the most valuable PropTech tools, sought by both clients and tech partners because of its location at the top of the sales funnel.”

“We are very excited about Funnel’s place at the point of conversion from prospect to resident with their online leasing tools,” added Helm. “We see this as a foundational platform for many other vendors and a sticky position for multifamily. Funnel has been a crucial, flagship investment for RET since 2019, adding value to our strategic partners and portfolio companies alike — including Essex, MAA, Cortland, LMC, Decron and LCOR — we made this preemptive investment to demonstrate our ongoing belief in Funnel’s mission and to help drive its continued expansion.”

As current users of Funnel’s platform, Camden Property Trust and Morgan Properties’ entrance as a new investor in this round demonstrates the strength of the software as well as its growth potential. Camden Property Trust The real estate investment trust boasts a track record of innovation and success with PropTech investment, exemplified by their role in building YieldStar, RealPage’s asset management software. Similarly, innovation is in Morgan Properties DNA. The company views the PropTech space as a competitive advantage, which is evidenced by their recently announced strategic partnership with Wilshire Lane Capital.

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